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Too often, authors think of exposition as something to avoid — but as I frequently discuss w/ my editing clients, some exposition is necessary to write an effective story.

Here are 6 tips to demystify exposition & some strategies you can use to do it right (an #amwriting 🧵):
1. Clarify the when & where. In the first 20 pgs or so, we should typically know:

- If we’re in the present, past or future
- Roughly what year it is
- Where we are geographically
- If it’s a real or fantasy world

Otherwise, your story can feel placeless.
2. Don’t info-dump. Avoid long standalone passages of exposition. But how to tell if you’re info-dumping?

Take out the exposition sentences & see if they can stand on their own. If they make sense out of the context of the narrative, you’re likely info-dumping.
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Almost every novel includes dialogue, but it’s tough to nail. Bad dialogue can undermine your story & make your writing look amateurish.

Here are 5 tips based on the dialogue mistakes I often see as a developmental editor (an #amwriting 🧵):
1. Fix mismatched attributions. If the tag that comes after a line of dialogue follows any character other than the character who just spoke, the reader will get confused. Generally, make sure the speaker is the 1st person you mention after the line of dialogue.
2. Show reactions. Line after line of dialogue w/ no break becomes tiring to read. Show us what they’re doing during the scene, their emotional reactions, tone of voice, etc. These details make the dialogue more realistic, esp. if there’s a dramatic moment in the conversation.
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You may have an incredible plot, great characters, & interesting scenes, but if your writing doesn’t hold up on a sentence level, it’s unlikely you’ll retain readers.

Here are 5 sentence-level mistakes I’ve seen new & seasoned writers make — & how to fix them (an #amwriting 🧵):
1. Redundant phrasing. Using extraneous words or phrases can make your writing clunky & hard to read.

Simplify your sentences. Make sure each word is necessary & serves a purpose. If you can take a word out w/out changing the meaning of the sentence, cut it.
2. Heavy-handed foreshadowing. Phrasing like “little did she know…” may SEEM like it builds suspense, but it actually tells the reader that something is about to happen & reduces the impact when it does. Let the reader experience the surprise when it comes.
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Effective communication is not just about speaking, but about truly connecting with others and building bridges of understanding.
#tuesdayvibe #InspirationalQuotes #Inspireyourself
#quotes #poetry #poetrycommunity #WritingCommunity #AuthorsOfTwitter #Read #share #Retweet #RT Image
Communication is not just about transmitting words; it's about fostering genuine connections and creating a shared understanding.
Listening is the key to effective communication. It shows respect, validates others' experiences, and opens doors to deeper connections.
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One of the most common novel structures is also one of the trickiest to pull off: the multi-storyline narrative.

Here are the 5 biggest mistakes I see when editing multiple-storyline novels, so you can catch & correct them in your own WIP (an #amwriting 🧵):
1. Switching storylines too frequently. This can make readers feel jostled & keep them from getting invested in the story.

To avoid a sense of whiplash, give readers ample time (at least a full scene) to get immersed in each character/storyline before moving on to the next.
2. Waiting too long btwn storylines. On the other hand, sitting w/ a single storyline for too long creates imbalance & slows down your pacing/plot momentum.

Try to dedicate a near-equal # of pages to ea. storyline. Stay consistent to keep the reader equally engaged w/ each one.
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Everyone has a novel in them somewhere, but for beginners, the hardest things to do is get started. It can feel overwhelming, but I've got a few tips for how to start a novel if you've never written one before (or even if you have!) 🧵

#amwriting #writingcommunity

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1. Read! If you haven't read widely in the genre you want to write, I suggest strongly starting there. See what excellent books look like and how experienced authors do their thing. Good writers are good readers, so if you've already read a ton, you're off to a great start!
2. Learn your characters. There's something called a character profile that is designed to help you fully understand your character(s) before you start writing. Google "free character profiles" and fill out a few for your main characters. They're fun AND helpful!
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A bad ending can give readers a bad impression of your book. The last thing you want is for them to finish the final page & feel unsatisfied.

So how can you tell if your ending is strong enough? Here are 5 Qs to help you make sure your ending is effective (an #amwriting 🧵):
1. Has the conflict been resolved? You hooked your reader w/ an intriguing point of conflict. If they reach the end, it’s b/c they want to see that conflict play out.

Readers want some level of resolution. Your ending doesn’t have to be happy, but it should offer closure.
2. Are loose ends tied up? A bad book ending leaves readers w/ unanswered questions. By the end, all subplots & character arcs should have a sense of finality.
They can be addressed at any point prior to the final scene/pages of your MS, as long as they’re resolved at some point.
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Even w/ the best story idea, compelling characters & a solid plot, your story won’t resonate if the writing falls flat.

In editing hundreds of novels, I’ve compiled 5 common examples of weak writing I often see, so you can identify & correct them in your own WIP (#amwriting 🧵):
1. Vague character descriptions. Listing adjectives is not the strongest way to convey a character’s persona. We want to see those adjectives in action. SHOW us how your characters think, feel & act. This will make them come alive & feel like layered, authentic human beings.
2. Excessive imagery. Be mindful of lingering too long on descriptions. While many writers do this aiming for more poetic prose, piling too many images can be clunky & obscure your message.

Opt for a single powerful image, metaphor or analogy to convey your point effectively.
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There are a million different ways to plot a book, and figuring out the best way for your plot to unfold can be tricky.

Here’s a framework for evaluating your plot’s effectiveness. Ask yourself these questions to determine if it holds up (an #amwriting 🧵):
1. Is there a clear point of conflict? To keep your reader engaged, your story MUST have a central conflict that they will want to see play out. Use this template: Protagonist wants X, but Y is stopping them.

Ideally, you’ll introduce this conflict within your first chapter.
2. Are the stakes high enough? The conflict must meaningfully impact the protag’s life somehow. Show us the consequences! This creates tension & keeps readers invested.

Add to the previous template: Protagonist wants X, but Y is stopping them; if they fail, Z will happen.
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I think Nollywood is trying and improving with the kinda quality movies we’ve been seeing since the last 5-10yrs. Gangs of Lagos, Brotherhood, Rattlesnake: The Aham Story, King of Boys, Blood Sisters, etc… Great acting, sleek visuals and believable storylines, to say the least. Image
If you ask me, I think also that perhaps it’s high time we ventured into animation/fantasy films as well, with epic storytelling and likable stock characters that have the capability to blossom into cult-like followings and household names among both adults and children alike.
Take for example, Hollywood’s Marvel and DC Comics. I believe it must’ve taken massive lots of creativity, vision and of course funding for something like DCverse to be what it is today. You’ve got great fictional characters like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Green Lantern,
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Here’s one mistake I see in almost every novel I edit: too much narrative distance, or space between the reader & the characters/events in the story.

Here are three ways you could be creating narrative distance & weakening your manuscript – without even realizing it (a 🧵):
1. Recounting events in retrospect. This removes the reader from the present plot action & can feel like an info dump.

Often, the narrative will be more engaging if you show the event as a scene when it actually occurs. Show us the character’s emotional response in the moment.
2. Not illuminating characters’ thoughts. In 1st or close 3rd person POV, we should typically have near-full access to the POV character’s mind. Look at what happens externally & internally/emotionally for your character in each scene. Show how they react & interpret the action.
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HOW TO #PITCH (me) - A THREAD: Back at it editing for @Narratively! I love all the fresh voices I'm seeing. After reading pitches for a while, I find I see the same mistakes (which I also made a LOT myself) or hesitation from writers asking how to go about this pitching stuff
Here's a thread for all of you who are on the fence about pitching (hop off and pitch!), been wondering if we'll think your story is dumb (we won't), and/or haven't had the benefit of a network to teach you how to pitch (hello hi, consider me a link in your network.)
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This is a good time to talk out a habitual weakness I think has harmed fiction and especially the fantasy genre as a whole.
The “hero” who is just kind of along for the ride rather than an active participant in his own story. 1
The setup of fantasy-adventures simply lends itself better to inborn specialness and outside forces conspiring to compel the main character along with no agency or real action of their own. 2
It’s that latter part that’s the issue. Nothing wrong with a character suddenly being thrust into adventure. It’s what they do that’s the real problem.
But it’s a heck of a lot harder to have this setup in a western, thriller, etc. 3
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I'm going to break some hearts today. Your query letter is probably too long. How long SHOULD it be? Let's look into why shorter is better, and why. 🧵


#AmQuerying #AmWriting #AmEditing #WritingCommunity #RevPit Image
Before I give you a tangible word count goal for your query letter, a few words about diction: Writing MORE doesn't mean you're writing BETTER. We novelists are, by trade, wordy people, and sometimes trimming things down to their essence is the hard part.

Diction is the process of carefully choosing words, which means keeping only those words that BEST communicate your ideas and stories. I've seen a lot of queries written by folks who were told to keep it "under one page," but then filled up that page to the damn brim.

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How should you address an agent at the beginning of a query letter? Well, folks, I don't have an easy answer for this one, but I'll do my best to break down your options. 🧵


#AmQuerying #AmWriting #WritingCommunity Image
The very first thing I'd do is check the agent's Twitter bio if they've got one. Agents with clear pronoun preferences will almost always list them there. This will keep you from using the wrong Mr./Miss/Mrs./Mx./none of the above.

You can also google their name with "MSWL," and oftentimes you'll find search results with pronoun preferences there, too. Try really, really hard not to misgender someone. It may sound trivial to some, but for some agents, that can be an automatic "no."

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To spoil, or not to spoil? When it comes to writing a query letter, that is the question.

There is an answer ("No, you shouldn't"), but let's break down why that is. 🧵


#AmQuerying #AmWriting #WritingCommunity Image
Many agents will ask writers for two submission documents beyond their manuscript: a one-page or two-page synopsis (which will spoil everything), and a query letter (which will not).

Many agents start with the query letter (the one that doesn't spoil), and that's a good thing because we're aiming to engage them at that point. We WANT them to want more. The more materials you can get an agent to read, the better your chances, right?

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In light of recent economic turmoil, many individuals are understandably concerned about their financial stability.

#AmazonKDPprogram #writeesaroundtheworld #WritingCommunity #AmazonKDP

A thread
However, it is important to remember that there are opportunities to improve one's financial situation, such as learning new skills that can be monetized from the comfort of your own home.
If you possess writing skills, Amazon KDP is a platform that can help you monetize your work and achieve financial freedom. By self-publishing your writing, you can potentially earn a substantial income while pursuing your passion.
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(1/7) 🧵 Excited to share my journey in writing my novella. With the help of @OpenAI's ChatGPT, I've developed a comprehensive story planning template that covers story structure, character connections, and more. Let me walk you through it! 📚✍️ #write3 #film3 #WritingCommunity
(2/7) The template starts with choosing the style/structure for the story. It includes examples like the Three-Act Structure, Hero's Journey, Kishōtenketsu, etc.. For me, picking a structural focus has helped guide the narrative, making it easier to plan and write. 📖
(3/7) It also includes character connection categories, providing a list of options for how characters can intersect in the story. Examples: shared goals, conflict, romantic interest, family ties, and more. This also helps me keep track of all the characters in my story 🧩
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📢TEN TIPS to help you find your voice as a writer📢

1. Discovering your writing voice takes time and practice. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things.

#writingtips #WritingCommunity #creativity
2. Read widely and often to find inspiration for your own writing style. Never copy someone else's style, but learn from other writers to figure out what you like.

#amreading #writingvoice #writerslife
3. Tailor your voice to what you're writing. A contemporary thriller written as ancient Greek sophist probably won't work. But there are no rules and you never know until you try...

#writingcommunity #creativity #voice
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CREATING CHARACTERS - Ten tips for writers who want great characters.

1. Characters are the heart of your story. Take time to get to know them as if they were real people. Where did they come from? What motivates them? What do they want? What do they need?

2. Make your characters memorable and different. You can do this by giving your character a distinctive:
*speech pattern

#amwriting #authors
3. How many perfect people do you know? Don't be afraid to make your characters flawed. Perfection can be dull. Give your characters imperfections that make them relatable and interesting.

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1. Write what you know. Reach into your past for inspiration. Use personal experiences and emotions to create relatable characters and compelling storylines.

#writingtips #ideas #creativity #WritingCommunity
2. Explore your passions and interests to find inspiration for your novel. Think badminton is run of the mill? Think again. Your local sports club might contain someone who inspires the hero or villain of your next book. #writingtips #creativity
3. Observe the world around you – read the news, trawl the Internet, pay attention to the stories unfolding before you. Scratch beneath the surface and try to figure out how and why things happen, and why people respond in certain ways. #writingtips #ideas
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1. Writing a novel starts with a great idea. Jot down your passions and experiences for inspiration. Read the news, conspiracy websites, chat forums, try new things, meet new people, delve into unusual corners of life.

#writingtips #novelwriting
2. Research is key to writing a captivating and believable story. Understand your characters, setting and world. You don't have to be a pilot, but find out how a pilot might react in a given situation. Research is also a great chance to meet new people.

#research #writingadvice
3. Try to write regularly. Set a realistic daily or weekly goal and stick to it.Consistency is key. 500 words per day will give you a first draft in 150 to 250 days.

#writinghabits #novelwriting
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In May, it will be 2 years since I lost my mother. It feels like it happened yday, but also years ago. For months, I asked the same question as Fleabag: what do I do? What do I do with all the love I have for her? That's when I found SRK's interviews on the loss of his parents.
I don't think any other figure in the public space has spoken so vulnerably on what it really means. The inability to save them, the regrets about having things left unsaid, the craving to hear their voice one last time.
Or the fact that, even years later, it creates a fear of close attachments. A part of us, which remains cracked, anxious, and lonely. On many nights, I've woken up sweating, afraid that if I love someone too much, they'll be snatched away from me. I've cherished solitude.
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